By Rieva Lesonsky
The world of social media marketing is changing all the time, so no matter how well you think you’re doing in that area, don’t start getting complacent. New forecasts from eMarketer project which social networks will be the most popular business marketing tools in 2017. Here’s what’s hot (and not-so-hot):
To pinpoint the most appropriate social media marketing platforms, begin by searching out statistics on the demographic makeup of each social network’s user base. Further refine your data by conducting surveys of your customers. Which social networks do they spend most of their time on? Do any of the networks actually influence their shopping behavior?
Monitor your social media analytics to see if they track with what your customers are saying. What kind of interactions are your posts, tweets, and photos getting? Beyond user engagement, are they driving customers to your website or to your location? While a big part of social media marketing is building your brand, you also want your efforts to drive some actual sales.
If you find that your customers are active on multiple social media channels, don’t despair. Social media management apps can make it easy to juggle all your business’s social accounts in one place, saving you time and effort. You can also simplify your social marketing by repurposing content in multiple places. For instance, share a photo from your Instagram account on Facebook with slightly different text. Embed a video from your YouTube channel on your Facebook page. Pull out an interesting fact from one of your blog posts and tweet it. Use the same hashtags for all of it so everything helps to build your presence.
Each social media channel has its own advertising options, too. In general, social advertising allows you to target prospects very narrowly, by demographics, interests, location and more. Because social media advertising is very affordable, it’s well worth doing some test runs to see what type of results you get.
Finally, keep up-to-date on what’s new in the world of social media marketing. New social platforms and tools are popping up all the time, and you never know which ones will take off as marketing channels. For example, social messaging platform Snapchat grew its user base by more than 27 percent this year, and is projected to have more users than Twitter by the end of the year (58.6 million vs. 56.8 million), according to a separate eMarketer report. The majority of users are between age 18 and 24, but those under 12 are also a growing segment—so if your small business targets the tween, teenri, and college crowd, you may want to take a look at Snapchat.
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